The following comes from an October 31 Deseret News article by William Hamblin and Daniel Peterson:
From 1957 through 2004, the official seal of Los Angeles County, California, centered on a standing image of Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards.
In 2004, the county board of supervisors, faced with claims by the American Civil Liberties Union that a tiny cross’ appearance on the seal violated the “Establishment Clause” of the United States Constitution and the separation of church and state, removed it. Curiously, the ACLU didn’t complain about the pagan goddess Pomona, the central and most prominent feature of the seal. Still, the supervisors took the opportunity to remove her as well.
The revised seal now features a standing Native American woman flanked by an image of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, which was founded in 1771. Notably, though, the mission was first depicted without a cross. However, in January 2014, the county supervisors voted 3-2 to add a cross to the building’s image, citing the need for historical accuracy. A month later, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit alleging that putting the cross back on the county seal violated the constitutions of both California and the United States.
It will be very difficult to erase the Christian heritage of California and the broader American Southwest. The state is studded with cities, mountains and valleys named after saints such as Santa Maria, the mother of Jesus; her husband, San Jose; and her parents, San Joaquin and Santa Ana. San Francisco commemorates the founder of the Franciscan order; San Diego and San Bernardino recall members of that order, and both Santa Clara and Santa Clarita memorialize Francis’ most famous female disciple.
San Fernando was named to honor a canonized 13th-century king of Castille. San Luis Obispo honors St. Louis of Anjou, a 13th-century bishop of Toulouse, France. The word “Obispo” (“bishop”) distinguishes him from the 13th-century Louis IX, the only sainted king of France; the mission of San Luis Rey stands in modern-day Oceanside, California, and, of course, the city of St. Louis, Missouri, bears his name.
Santa Monica recalls the mother of St. Augustine, after whom an important city in Florida was christened. San Clemente honors a first-century bishop of Rome, regarded by Catholics as one of the first popes. Santa Barbara remembers a Christian martyr. San Onofre preserves the name of the fourth-century Egyptian hermit St. Onuphrius. We could go on for quite some time, with names such as San Ramon, San Gorgonio, San Marino, San Dimas, Santa Margarita, San Rafael, San Simeon and the like.
But there’s still hope: In 1996, the question arose of renaming Canada’s Northwest Territories. For a while — we’re not making this up — one of the most popular suggestions was “Bob.” In the end, though, the province’s name remained unaltered. So, happily, “Bob” remains available as a replacement for, say, “San Francisco.”
Not just Catholicism on the Left’s list of ‘Things Best Erased’. Notice the stylized oil well derrick on the old Seal, recalling the Los Angeles Basin as perhaps the richest oilfield in the world (acre for acre). Its absence on the new Seal went unnoticed by most, but omitting it is a swipe at the petroleum industry that makes modern life possible, and had a large part in building L.A. So, secular environmentalism is the new religion of California?
” California’s explicitly Christian heritage ” – this is also denoted in the names of most of the major cities.
But based upon the people that are elected into State offices, and the State voters constantly supporting the most evil in Federal elections – one would never know it.
There is no need to rename San Francisco “Bob”. There were numerous Ohlone names for it prior to the relatively recent arrival of the Spanish. Same for virtually every Spanish place name listed here.
Europeans arrived in a populated place, engaged in a cultural genocide against its inhabitants, then recreated it in the image of Spain. This may be heritage in the sense that it’s a part of our history, but it is not a valid origin story for California.
If anything, our Spanish place names are a testament to how ephemeral names really are. They can exist for millennia, then be all but erased by changing demographics in the space of a couple of generations.
Um, Maya, in case you hadn’t noticed: the demographic indicators in California point to more people who speak… Spanish.
True, but not really the point. This article is presenting the conceit that the Spanish are the origin story of humans in California, then using 200-year-old Spanish names for places that had been inhabited for 13,000-15,000 years as evidence for that. Pretty flimsy.
There are lots of Spanish speakers in California, but most have nominal if any European ancestry. Even the term Hispanic has negative connotation. The era of Euro-centrism here has come and gone.
In the Bay Area, the fastest growing immigrant groups speak Chinese, Urdu, Arabic and Hindi.
Maya, not all East Indians are Hindus. We have plenty of Syro-Malabar Rite Catholics here in California. Their church was started by St. Thomas the Apostle. He was a Jewish Christian apostle (one of the Twelve) who was a sea faring man, and who taught the Christians of India where to go to avoid Tsunami’s. He planted a marker where they were to go above, and it saved many of their lives during the last Tsunami in that area.
I would certainly include Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) – although it would probably set off hate riots in this bastion of tolerance if the translation were known to the student body.
Fortunately, most in Academentia are too busy jostling for a place to wallow at the tax trough for learning – beyond the basics of how to ‘trigger’ hatred for the ‘Herero-Patriarchy’.
And of course there is the Capitol of California, Sacramento. In remembrance of the Most Holy Sacramento.
The separation of church and state must have seemed like a great idea at the time, a grand effort to avoid the stinking corruption of the conjoining of religious and earthly hierarchical rule. Now we see the secular/governmental forces crushing religion through ridicule and external control, specifically targeting Christianity as its most hated focus. The separation concept was not designed to eliminate one source of guidance or the other, but rather to ensure their peaceful coexistence. A new standard needs to be erected that allows both church and state to co-exist for the good of both man and society.
Reminds me of the story of how Mount Urfingr got its name.
Seems an intrepid explorer with a map pointed to a certain peak and asked his native guide what this was called.
The Reply = That is Your Finger (in native dialect of course); and thus history was writ, most pointedly.
The last paragraph of the article displays a small bit of typical American ignorance. It’s called Northwest Territoriees because its still a territory, not a province. Many Canadian towns and cities have First Nation [their name for original inhabitants whom we Americans call Indians] names. Some have French names, some British, a few have British names to replace the French name after the British took over.
The winner also gets to name places.